It was 2:00 on an Auburn's Day morning, so the world was bright and shining with sunlight and the twittering of birds. Soft pinkish petals waved slowly in their own unique dance sequence. Individual stalks of mint-colored grass stood in disorderly groups like schoolchildren who couldn't be bothered to line up properly.
Shana's eyes fluttered, shut for five seconds, opened again and stayed like that. She roused her companion.
"Wake up, Isla!"
"Is it time for morning attendance already... wait!"
She stood up.
"Where are we? We're not in a Candle Room. What happened last night? I can't remember anything at all. There was this really loud noise and now here I am!"
"Sh, Isla, don't panic."
"Easy for you to say. You don't remember your mum and dad."
"Forget it," said Shana angrily. "Forget everything, okay? I'm gonna look around for a P.I.A. to see what's going on; you guard our Gear. Concentrate on the Now, not on the Then."
"Okay," agreed Isla sulkily. "I guess I'll take an inventory too, while I'm at it."
"Actually, I was being sarcastic."
"Do it anyway. There are many, many Gear-thieves along the paths. They may even have made that noise last night- God, but it was awful!" She shuddered at the memory. "Mighta taken some things after we got knocked out and everything."
"Alright, alright," said Isla resignedly. "But hurry. I want to know what happened. I'm so nervous-"
"Hush, it's alright. I'm sure we'll be taken to the nearest Candle Room when all of our Roommates get up, the sleepy heads."
She cast their companions a contemptuous look, flung her distinctive mass of hair in their general direction.
"Okay, I'll go look."
"Be careful, Shana."
"Just- be careful for me, will ya?"
If only her request had been taken more seriously.